Supervision and the Logic of Resentment

Philosophy of Management 9 (2):65-80 (2010)
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Abstract

Because resentment features prominently in work relations, supervisors should understand the nature of such emotions and how to address them. Popular wisdom’s insistence that emotions cannot be rationally assessed is mistaken. Emotions are judgments embodied in perceptions, dispositions, and “raw feels,” that reflect one’s worldview. At the core of paradigmatic resentment is the moral judgment that someone has betrayed one by unfairly rejecting one in a waythat shows ill-will. Non-paradigmatic resentment is an extension of the paradigm. This paper examines (part I) the logic of resentment and (part II) how supervisors can avoid and assist subordinates in processing resentment. Part III suggests that emotional change requires reconciling inconsistencies in a person’s worldview, which may require deep and widespread changes in outlook. Emotions are as logical or illogical as the people who have them. People are immune neither from criticism for their emotions nor from demands that their emotions be changed

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Eugene Schlossberger
Purdue University Calumet

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